Be careful what you click on when using gaming platform Twitch. A new piece of malware accessible through the site’s chat feature can wipe your Steam wallet, armory and inventory clean before dumping your items into the Steam Community Market at a discount. Ouch.
The Twitch-bot reportedly bombards channels and invites viewers to enter a weekly raffle with prizes such as “Counter-Strike: Global Offensive” items. If you click on the link, you’re led to a Java program that asks for your name and email address. Those who fall victim to the fake contest will receive a message that says “Congratulations, you have joined this week’s raffle. We will contact you by email if you win.”
After this message appears, the malware will engage in a number of annoying and malevolent acts, including taking new screenshots, adding new friends on Steam, accepting pending requests in Steam, initiating trading with new friends on Steam, buying items, sending trade offers, accepting pending trade transactions and selling items with a discount in the market.
Sadly, all of this is done from the victim’s computer, since Steam has security checks that can identify if a user logs in for a new device.
A Twitch spokesman said only two malware-related incidents were reported by the Twitch community. “We proactively blocked that specific link site-wide and reminded our community to not click on links from unknown sources just like they wouldn't do on any other social media sites,” Twitch said. “All of our broadcasters also have the option to block links in their chat which can easily prevent this.”
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) agreed to acquire Twitch for $970 million last month. The deal is expected to be finalized by the end of 2014.